False bay

three things I love about my favourite city

Cape Town. The Mother City. Crouching beneath the majestic backdrop of Table Mountain in the south-west corner of Africa. Once a tiny stopover for fresh supplies along the trading route between Europe and the Far East, now a buzzing metropolis where the Rainbow Nation welcome visitors with open arms and huge smiles, lots of good food and great wine. You haven’t been there? What are you waiting for?

What do I love most about this city ?

1. The Views

View to Cape Point
View to Cape Point

whether it be the sensational all round city and peninsula views you get from taking a cable car ( or climbing if you have the energy) up to the top of Table Mountain, the dizzying view of the coast from the impressive 9km Chapman Peak Drive, with its 114 curves,  where you literally hang off the cliff or the wide-open view of False Bay from Boyes Drive down in the Cape Peninsula, you cannot get enough of the scenic landscapes that this city has to offer. It must be one of the most scenically situated cities in the world.

2. The Beaches

Table Mountain
Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand

now personally I can think of nothing worse than lying on a beach and baking in the sun, but I know many people do like to do that and Cape Town  has the most incredible beautiful beaches all around – it is on a peninsula – so you get northern beaches where the wind whips the sand into a frenzy, so perhaps best suited to wind-surfing than sun-bathing; the western beaches which are on the frigid Atlantic coastline so these attract the ‘in’ people who strut their stuff along Camps Bay or Clifton, occasionally playing Frisbee, or volley-ball or more likely be supping bold espressos in the bars lining the beachfront (that’s if you can get parking) OR the fabulous Indian Ocean beaches where the water is warmer and when the surf is up is filled with surfing dudes, wind-surfers, kite-surfers (they stay on the sand not the water) and people like me, who just want a long beach to stroll along. And then there’s the penguins. Now tell me, where else in the world can you visit a beach with resident penguins? And not freeze.

3. Nature

ostriches
Ostriches at Cape of Good Hope

even in the heart of the city you will find the Company’s Gardens. Once literally an allotment where fruit and vegetables were grown to feed the visiting traders, now a little oasis in the city bowl. A serene place to wander through, full of trees and plants, European squirrels and native birds. And the view of that mountain behind you. No-one should come to Cape Town and not wander through this garden. And if you are not a fan of gardens then this is where you will find the ‘Tuynhuys‘ which is used by the President on state occasions (and not open to the public), the ‘Delville Wood Memorial’ and the ‘Rutherfoord Fountain’. This area is known as ‘Museum Mile’ in that the vast majority of Cape Town’s museums are concentrated into the same small space around Government Avenue including the South African Museum and National Gallery and The Iziko Slave Lodge which lies just outside the entrance.

Cheeky Grey Squirrel
Cheeky Grey Squirrel

A little further south is Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. A must see. And you can climb up to the top of Table Mountain from here up through Skeleton Gorge. If that is too much, then feel free to wander around the acres of native flora – proteas, restios, pelargoniums. Did I tell you that the Cape is home to more than 9,000 plant species? No? Well it is.

Table Mountain
Table Mountain from Kirstenbosch

And finally, the Cape Point reserve. Where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet and the waters surge and crash together making it one of the world’s most dangerous routes to navigate round. The reserve is full of the fynbos that the Cape is known for, it is also home to ostrich, kudu and sable antelope, and baboons. Watch out for the baboons!

Baboon
Baboon at Cape Point

So that’s that. My favourite city and three reasons why I like it. No make that LOVE it. Cape Town. The pearl in the African Crown.

Accor Hotels are running a competition to find your favourite city. Cape Town is mine. Which one is yours?

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Published by

Heyjude

I live in the UK, but when I was younger I spent several years travelling the world followed by a period living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

68 thoughts on “three things I love about my favourite city”

  1. I am not entering as such. I do have a Twitter account, but other than posting my blog, it is comparable to hieroglyphics mainly. I discounted the obvious. London, (where I am from) Barcelona, (love it, but too busy) and settled on Singapore. Here are my three reasons.
    1) Cultural diversity. It is all there. Singaporean, Malay, Thai, Chinese, Indian, and some Old Colonial too.
    2) Eating out, especially Clarke Quay. The best Thai meal I ever ate, and the best Chinese food too. Huge choice, great riverside location. Magical at night.
    3) Sentosa Island. Over by cable car, an afternoon exploring, rounded off by sipping a Singapore Sling at a beach bar on the southernmost point of Asia, watching the sunset.
    I always felt safe there, travelling around was easy, and it is lovely and clean too.
    I must go back one day, if I ever have enough money for the flight…x

    1. Oh, yes, good choice Pete. I enjoyed our 3 day stopover there a decade ago. The quayside has changed dramatically in recent years and it would be well worth a re-visit.

    1. The squirrels in the Company’s Garden are very tame, they will come up and eat peanuts from out of your hand so it was quite easy to get a clear shot.

  2. Your love is there in every sentence, Jude, and you’ve convinced us all. Now… time to find a beach like that in the UK 🙂 I’m sure we can persuade a penguin or two from London Zoo to take up residence.

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